NORTH BEND — The Coos County Public Health Department issued a health advisory Monday, warning of the increase in reported gonorrhea cases in Coos County.
Nikki Zogg, administrator for the department, said the numbers have nearly doubled in the past year from six in 2012 to 11 in 2013. There were two cases in 2011. The majority of the cases were Caucasians, ages 20 to 34.
“It’s an outbreak if it’s above the normal trend,” Zogg said.
She said some people might not be taking necessary precautions.
“Protection isn’t as much a concern for them,” she said.
The best ways to prevent getting gonorrhea are abstaining from any kind of sexual intercourse, be in a mutually monogamous relationship or use a condom, Zogg said.
If not treated, gonorrhea can lead to infertility, especially in females. It can also make it more likely to become infected with HIV, if exposed, she said.
Some people won’t have any symptoms, so sexually active people who aren’t in mutually monogamous sexual relationships should be tested periodically for gonorrhea and other sexually transmitted diseases.
Those who have been diagnosed with gonorrhea should tell those they’ve had sex with in the past 60 days so they can seek an exam and possible treatment.
Local testing sites include the Coos County Public Health Department, Waterfall Community Health Center and the Bandon Community Health Center.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently identified a form of “super” gonorrhea as a threat. However, there have been no reported cases in Coos County or Oregon.
Those with questions or concerns can contact the Coos County Health Department at 541-751-2431.